Archive for March 19th, 2014

19
Mar
14

The Obamas + Ellen = A Fantastic Time

In honor of President Barack Obama appearing on Ellen tomorrow (Thursday), take a walk down a delightful memory lane

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Continue reading ‘The Obamas + Ellen = A Fantastic Time’

19
Mar
14

‘Cesar Chavez’ Comes To The White House

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President Barack Obama speaks at the screening of the film ‘Cesar Chavez’, in the Old Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. The movie biopic is directed by Diego Luna about the Mexican-American labor leader Cesar Chavez

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President Barack Obama hugs Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Deputy Director of Public Engagement (Cesar Chavez’s granddaughter), as he arrives at a screening of the film “Cesar Chavez”

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Actors Diego Luna and Rosario Dawson speak after President Barack Obama made remarks at a screening of the film “Cesar Chavez” at the White House

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Actress America Ferrera attends a screening of the film “Cesar Chavez” in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.

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19
Mar
14

On Leadership and Manliness

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by Japa (@deaconmill)

Okay, we have heard over and over and over again about how manly Putin is with all his bear wrestling and topless horseback riding (although his manboobs tend to detract from that image). And we have heard over and over again what a wuss and coward President Obama is.

And we have heard over and over again how Putin is such a great leader because he just does what he wants and gets others to do what he wants them to. And WE have heard over and over again how President Obama doesn’t know how to lead and instead gets led around by the nose by Putin and others.

Forget, for a moment that most of the people saying those things are also the same people who call President Obama a dictator and totalitarian despot, thus actually saying he is just like Putin and therefore contradict themselves time and again.

Instead, let’s focus for a little on just what it means to be a man (I know this is not politically correct and is somewhat gender specific, but I am trying to speak directly to the criticisms). At the same time, let’s also focus on what it means to be a leader.  And guess what?  The two end up being very similar in terms of what qualities either one requires.  And, for fairness sake, let’s drop the word “man” and insert the word “adult”.

Rudyard Kipling, for all that he represented colonialism and a sense of the Great White Uplifting of Inferior Peoples, did have some awareness of the difference between being an adult and being a juvenile. And the words he used to define the difference also tend to apply, to a great degree, to the concept of leadership. By that, I mean that one cannot truly be an effective leader without those qualities.  Yes there are other qualities that comprise being a leader and I will get to those later.

Righty now, I want to dissect one of his most famous poems “If” and see just what it says about President Obama and, perhaps, Putin and see who comes out on top. I will be doing this on a stanza by stanza basis, so bear with me.

Continue reading ‘On Leadership and Manliness’

19
Mar
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day: Senator Barack Obama at the 36th Annual NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles, March 19, 2005

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Today (all times Eastern):

1:0: Jay Carney briefs the press

2:25: President Obama hosts a screening of the film Cesar Chavez at the White House

3:05: The President will participate in the latest installment of “Live from the White House” by conducting a round of interviews with local television anchors from New England, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Dallas, Phoenix, and San Diego to make the case for raising the minimum wage and giving hardworking Americans the raise they deserve. While in Washington, the local anchors will spend the day with behind-the-scenes access to the White House and the President’s top advisers. These interviews are embargoed until 5:00PM EDT

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CBS Philly: Organizers Urging Philadelphians To Beat Obamacare Signup Deadline

Federal officials have announced that more than five million people have now enrolled in a health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act web site, healthcare.gov.

Philadelphia has one of the highest rates of signup, but advocates are not resting until the March 31st deadline passes.

Today, a signup rally in Love Park (JFK Plaza) featured elected officials and the newly insured, who testified to the “affordable” part of the Affordable Care Act.

“My rate for my health care, per month, is 27 cents,” said Susan O’Connell, who said she had been paying almost $600 a month for a “Cobra” plan after losing her job.  So, she noted, it was a significant savings for a plan that all her doctors accept and has lower co-pays.

More here

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The People’s View: The Obamacare Coalition: Why the Affordable Care Act is a Huge Asset for Democrats

As we sprint to the finish to the March 31 open-enrollment period deadline in the health insurance marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act, national pundits are increasingly making the case that Obamacare is going to be a political liability for Democrats in November. As evidence, they point to the loss of Alex Sink in a Congressional special election in Florida, pronouncing that it was the ACA that sank Sink’s ship.

Actual data, of course, points in the exact opposite direction, suggesting that the traction Sink got in a heavily Republican district in a low-turnout election was in part due to her opposition to Obamacare’s repeal. If Obamacare is responsible for the results, then a more accurate reading would be that Obamacare closed an 11-point GOP registration gap to a 2-point voting gap on election day. That’s the miracle here, and of course, the corpse of a national media isn’t talking about it.

More here

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Good grief:

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EclectaBlog: Could you get health insurance for $56/month? This Michigan man did

He’s one of the 17 million Americans eligible for financial assistance to make coverage more affordable. Find out if you are, too — before the March 31 deadline.

Michael Paul Goldenberg has lived without health insurance since 2009 — almost as long as he’s had type 2 diabetes. The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based part-time math teacher and consultant lost his insurance when he lost his previous job, and the $500 a month to continue his coverage was unaffordable over the long term.

When some additional health concerns came up a few months ago, Goldenberg decided it was time to look into what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could do for him…..

More here

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Steve Benen: Boehner’s casual indifference to healthcare facts

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) held a press conference late last week and said, practically as an afterthought, that there are “less people today with health insurance than there were before this law went into effect.” That didn’t make any sense, so a reporter followed up.

REPORTER: Mr. Speaker, you said a minute ago there are fewer people today with health insurance then when the law was passed. I want to make sure I understand. You’re saying that “Obamacare” has resulted in a net loss of insurance?

BOEHNER: I believe that to be the case. When you look at the 6 million Americans who have lost their policies and some – they claim 4.2 million people who have signed up – I don’t know how many have actually paid for it – that would indicate to me a net loss of people with health insurance.

The problem, of course, is that none of this is even remotely true….

More here

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ThinkProgress: Parts Of The GOP’s Obamacare Alternative Just Rip Off Obamacare

House Republicans are planning to unveil a unified alternative to the Affordable Care Act this spring, the Washington Post reported on Monday. Though details of the plan remain sketchy, the measure is “hardly intended as a full replacement of the federal health-care law” and will focus on filling gaps in the health care system.

According to the Post, lawmakers will endorse “ability to buy insurance across state lines, guaranteed renewability of policies and changes to medical-malpractice regulations.” Once Obama’s health care reform law is repealed, insurers will be able to discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions, though the GOP-backed proposal will offer sicker individuals coverage through “high-risk insurance pools” managed and subsidized by the states.” The alternative will also promote health savings accounts, allow small businesses “to purchase coverage together” and permit young people to stay on their parents’ health care plan until age 26.

If that last plank sounds a whole lot like the Affordable Care Act, that’s because it is. Of the seven provisions outlined by the Post, five — save health savings accounts and malpractice reform — are already included in the law in one way or another.

More here

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Jonathan Cohn: Another Rich Guy Says Populists Are Like Nazis

Remember the story about the rich guy comparing left-wing populism to Nazism? It’s happening again, only this time it’s a different rich guy.

It’s Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot and financier of the Republican Party. Politico’s Ben White and Maggie Haberman caught up with him, while reporting an article about how the very wealthy see the political landscape—and whether they are worried, as they were before, that liberal arguments about inequality and redistribution were resonating with the public.

“I hope it’s not working,” Ken Langone, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot and major GOP donor, said of populist political appeals. “Because if you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany. You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy.”

…. An easy and perfectly appropriate response would be to focus on the absurdity of these Nazi comparisons — starting with the fact that, you know, raising taxes on the wealthy isn’t exactly like genocide.

More here

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A rare Politico link, but this fella’s usually worth it:

Roger Simon: (Politico): Mess with bull, get horns

…. And you thought the big three issues for Obama were jobs, jobs, jobs. How wrong you are. Why should Obama worry about Detroit, when he should really be worrying about Donetsk?

…. Past U.S. presidents knew how to use power. There is but one nation in the history of the world that has used nuclear weapons against another nation: USA! USA! USA!

Obama should stop going around in that silly windbreaker with the presidential seal on the front. Instead, the front of his jacket should have a mushroom cloud and the words: “You mess with the bull and you get the horns.”

But he won’t do that. He worries about things like a thermonuclear exchange and how it would end all mankind.

Wuss.

More here

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Paul Waldman: Vivek Murthy, the NRA and the politics of fear

The National Rifle Administration knows the power of fear. After all, its entire business model is based on it. When the organization’s chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, goes before an audience and proclaims, “We know, in the world that surrounds us, there are terrorists and home invaders and drug cartels and car-jackers and knock-out gamers and rapers, haters, campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers, road-rage killers, and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids, or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse the society that sustains us all,” he’s not trying to give a reasoned assessment of contemporary challenges. (In the real world, crime has been steadily declining for two decades.) LaPierre is trying to make his audience as afraid as possible, because fear is great for his business.

More here

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USA Today: Obama’s Final Four: Fla., Ariz., L’ville, Mich. St.

President Obama has picked his Final Four in the 2014 men’s college basketball tournament: Florida, Louisville, Arizona, and Michigan State.

ESPN, which interviewed Obama about the tournament on Tuesday, will reveal the president’s pick for the title later today.

It’s the sixth straight year that the president has participated in what ESPN calls “Barack-etology.”

More here

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On This Day:

President Obama practices his golf swing at an outdoor hold prior to an event at the Miguel Contreras Learning Center in Los Angeles, Calif., March 19, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama talks with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and L.A. Mayor Antonio Ramon Villaraigosa prior to an event at the Miguel Contreras Learning Center in Los Angeles, Calif., March 19, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama gestures while speaking at the Miguel Contreras Learning Center in Los Angeles, Calif., March 19, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama shares a moment with Jay Leno off set of the Tonight Show at NBC Studios, Burbank, Calif., March 19, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama talks to a Member of Congress while en route to George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., to deliver remarks on health insurance reform, March 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama speaks on health insurance reform at George Mason University’s Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia on March 19, 2010

President Obama calls a Member of Congress to discuss health care reform in the Oval Office, March 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama calls a Member of Congress about health care reform from the Oval Office, March 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Arriving at Brasilia Air Base, Brazil, March 19, 2011

President Obama walks with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff following the arrival of First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Sasha and Malia, at the Palacio do Alvorada in Brasilia, Brazil, March 19, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama talks on the phone with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office, March 19, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama is interviewed during a taping of the “Late Show with David Letterman” at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, N.Y., March 19, 2012 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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President Obama speaks during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny in the Oval Office of the White House, March 19, 2013

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MoooOOOooorning!

19
Mar
14

Early Bird Chat

On This Day: Senator Barack Obama and his wife Michelle arrive at the 36th NAACP Image Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on March 19, 2005 in Los Angeles

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MoooOOOooorning Early Birds – Happy Wednesday!




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